Riptidings

Description:

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Riptidings
« on: June 08, 2019, 05:40:06 PM »

Confused, Nora tried to beach herself. The webbing between her finger bones shrinking down. Skin becoming pale, less leathery and more pink. It was easier to claw her way onto the sand with hands, than to drag her exhausted seal body to shore. One weighing exceptionally less than the other. They were having none of it, however. Men she hadn’t seen before dragging a boat down to the water.

Shouting, they chased her back into the sea. A spear splashing salt water and sand into her face. Knees sinking in, Nora pushed herself away from them, falling backwards into a wave. She let the tide help drag her, summoning the change back as she dove. Hair skimming down her body, shortening, darkening, until she was a speckled shadow dashing through the water.

A boat just behind her. More spears cutting the water around her body. Too many coming dangerously close. Panicked, she swam faster. Harder. Dove deep as the ground fell away. Shooting through pod of larger, darker shadows. White flags of warning scaring her deeper and away. The pod churned. Whales. Forgetting the men, Nora arched away, left, back. Hoping for shallow water where they couldn’t follow.

The surface so she could breathe, a trail of bubbles counting down the minutes she had in a rush.

Emile Dupuis

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    King of Pearls
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    29 Posts    1242 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 05:40:27 PM »
Orca. From a coral shaded glade on the seafloor Emile watched them slice through the water above. Giving chase to some sad creature while he pried the jaws of clams open to inspect them for treasure. Another handful turned up empty. Two dozen forced to spill their centers and only one pearl for the trouble. That was alright, he only checked out of curiosity anyway. All the fat clams in the sea fields back home held them well in financial security.

And when they were not enough, he made good money on raids or trading expeditions like this one. Distant lands filled with strange people. A bubble left his nostrils, and in his chest his lungs pulsed for air. He could hold his breath for over ten minutes in this form, but he had been down for seven and it would take several to break the surface again. Legs unfolding from the rock he clung to Emile shoved off with his heels. Arms curving in graceful arcs to bring him to the top quickly.

In the distance he spotted the orcas again, following the coastline in preparation to breach. They often did so when their prey had gone to land. He had thought it was probably a seal. This behavior practically confirmed it. As he paddled nearer to the shore, however, it was not the dapple body of his animal kin scrambling in the sand. It was the figure of a woman. Long wet hair sticking to her skin. For a moment he thought his eyes might be playing tricks on him as spots seemed to fade from across her naked rump.

But the Tigermen came with their spears to force her back into the water. Not the same faces he had been greeted by some miles up the coast. These were strangers with dark eyes and sharp spears. Screaming at her invasion as if she were the first of an army. The woman tripped over herself, back into the water. With a gasp to fill his lungs Emile plummeted under to watch this too. Distance from them all kept. Until he saw her change with his own eyes. She was one of them.

She was His. Red cutting through the water he parted the orca pod. As a man he was a slower swimmer, but he could deal, or fight, with the Tigers easier this way. *Here* He called to the woman. Opal spanning out to guide her closer. His shields were strong. Strong enough that the orca screamed in frustration as they glanced off the wall. Confused by the unseeable obstacle. They swarmed around as he narrowed the radius of his shields. Trapping the woman in and the dangers out. Forcing her closer *Here, your safe now.* Up to the surface he broke for a breath, arms paddling as he judged the closing distance of the men’s boat. The sight of his head popping up was confirmation for their fears. They turned to come in his direction but Emile stretched his Red beyond his shield to tip them over into the water.

*Any hurts?* He asked, fingers gliding over a slick gray brow as if he could help the hurts. He could not. But he knew where to go for it.

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 05:42:02 PM »

The noise was terrible. The swift rush of water. The clicks and squeals of the pod. Whale song. Landers spoke of it like it was a thing of beauty, but Nora only heard death. They were not common in her birthwaters. Channel too narrow for their big bodies, but sometimes they came for feasting. Worse were the sharks who made no sound at all.

Rolling she dodged. Down. Up. Toward the shore and then driven away. Slow on land she was swift in the water, but the orca were big and swift too. With more teeth than she and mouths big enough to fit her in. Tiger Eye snapping in answer to her fear, Nora shocked a few. Little bursts of power that stung or confused until something else cut through the water. Darker and more dangerous than she would ever be.

If she ever was dangerous. She never would be dark.

Blindly she followed. Not a thought to tricks or traps as she went. Darting in search of here she followed the siren song of the White thread. It turned to an Opal path she swam up. Right to a man who trapped her in shields. Shields the orca dove against and were driven back by. They tightened, until Nora was swimming circles around his body, forced to rise with him. Heads breaking the water neaely at the same moment.

Nora exhaled water, nostrils opening to spit salt spray and gasp air. A deep breath before she doce again. He promised safety but there were still men in boats. And whales below, she saw when she went under. Nora battered his legs, coiling around him and skimming against the shields that held her. *Away!* She begged him, glancing off a shield and spinnin to its depths before rising again. Which way was away? Which way home?

Nora rose again, shouts carrying across the water. She bobbed beside the man as the boat was overturned. Bodies thrashing in the water and drawng the attention of the pod. She saw their gleaming shadows turn away and circle the men. Barking, she spun under the hand on her hide, unused to being touched in this form by human hands. So glad to be rescued. *No hurts!* She didn’t think anyway, bouncing against his body.

How did he know she could hear him? Was it because of his Opal? Nora was not good with her Tiger Eye, some said she was unfit to wear a Jewel at all, but she was good at changing forms, so the Darkness must love her. *You are very brave. What if they come back?* Landers were usually weak and frightened in the water. Like the boatmen who were screaming and fighting with the pod now, Nora and her rescuer forgotten.

Emile Dupuis

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    King of Pearls
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    29 Posts    1242 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 06:09:14 PM »
On the Tiger-eye she spoke to him with fear bubbling in the link. *Hush. You’re safe.* He repeated as she wrapped between and around his legs in panic. *I won’t let them get us.* She butted her whiskered nose at his knees as if moving him would move the shields too. All her frantic pleading barely noticed by the warlord prince turned his sharp focus across the water.

*Very good.* He spluttered as she pressed against him in her larger form. There was no way he could hold her as a seal. Especially in the water. It made him tread water harder to stay afloat and laugh with her twitching nose. Soft and full of whiskers, set beneath heavily lidded big brown eyes. Hand stroking her softly he turned back to their enemies. *They won’t eat them so we should go while they’re all still distracted.*

If he killed them here the blood would attract sharks. And they were much harder to shake. Turning back to the woman he smirked at her question. Shoulders trying to shrug but the water masked the movement. Salty waves pouring over him in a steady rythm. *I’m not alone, if they make trouble. I came on a trading ship.* And the raiders of Paon were like brothers in their fierce protection of one another. *Do you come from the tiger-people?* Could they have the skill to shift and be tailed half cats? Emile did not think so.

What did he know though?

*Swim this way. I’ll hold your front flipper.* He told her, pointing the way with his Opal the same as he had before. They didn’t have to go very far. The shoreline made a crescent so getting to the small inlet where his party’s ship sat waiting would not take long by water. *There, lets dive. I found a cave earlier that leads up to the shore from underwater.* He let her go to lead the way physically.

 A large gulp of air filling his lungs before he rolled in the water to cut gracefully down into the opening. He dove, and the water turned murky. A sheet of coral growing on the low rock face of the landmass. Carved into the side an erosion in the stone a little bigger than he was tall. Nearly a perfect circle. Inside it was dark for several meters. Slippery stone covered by dense root systems that made moving in the slow incline towards the surface easier. The water grew more shallow and the light brighter near the exit.

Slicking water from his face he stopped where the water was knee deep. Just enough light to see by filtering in and casting dark shadows on their features.  Turning to crouch and look at the seal woman face to face he checked again for hurts. A probe delving at her psyche in curiosity. Witch. Virgin. Light Jeweled. His own kind. *You’re coming home with me.*

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 06:38:01 PM »

*Why not?* Nora had hoped they would eat each other. Or the orca would eat the men while they fled. But a distraction was all they needed, and maybe not even that. He kept them away easily enough with his shields. And Nora in. Trapped in a bubble with him that did not feel like a cage. Just different from the open water in a way she could not name.

Waves still came in. Washing over him and keeping his hair damp and streams running down his face that almost looked like tears. It kept her hide wet too, and comfortable. Bobbing beside him, Nora tried not to batter him with her flippers, or drown him in her wake as she looked for his ship and saw none. *No. Tiger-people?* Were they not men?

Slipping beneath the waves, Nora tried to tell if they were or not. But distance and churning water made it impossible. And the sight of the orcas frightened her. The man made a path again, hand catching her flipper as she surfaced beside him. Eager agreement rolled down the thread he had woven between them. Body propelling them through the water, Nora followed his path, away from the pod and men who were not men.

Ahead of them a ship came in to view, hidden by a curve of beach. Nora snorted to sea it, and then dove as he bid her. Lungs expanding, body cutting through the water faster than the spears that had been thrown at her. Faster than the man, too. Nora circled him, so he could lead. Down and then slowly up until they were beneath an overhand of rocks.

*Is it safe?* She worried, but followed him anyway. Roots reaching for her. Nora found it hard to fit in places, body contorting to squeeze past gnarled vegetation and coral sprouts. Running out of water, Nora was forced to leap after him. Flippers slipping and body sliding, sometimes forward and sometimes back, until he turned to face her again, crouching low so they were at eye level. Head tilting, she barked softly at him, whispers waving happily.

Her whole body shivering as he reached down to what felt like her very center with a probe. More than that, he decided her fate with an alarming ease. *On the trader ship?* The small, round nubs of her ears wiggled in fright. Landers ate seals, she remembered then. And wore them. Nora looked back at the dark water. *Seals are for the sea, not for ships.* She whimpered.

How was she supposed to go home with a lander? Even if he had saved her from possible death.

Emile Dupuis

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    King of Pearls
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    29 Posts    1242 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 10:15:33 PM »
Emile did not answer because he did not know why. Or how they chose their prey. They attacked sometimes, when he was pearl diving back home. Always in clever packs like sea wolves. The challenge enticed him to let them chase sometimes, but they quickly turned away if he melded into his human skin. Some more curious than others. Curious enough to bump him with their noses or chatter at him in singsong voices. They always turned away from the man as if he were not the same meat as the seal, though. Perhaps it was too much work for too little to eat his lighter body. He made no such differentiation of foodstuff, feeding his small rookery on the calves of orca after a successful hunt.

*Yes. The men have tails and cat ears. They call themselves Tiger. No one has seen much of the women. My captain will visit with their queen soon, though.* Details. Little details they didn’t really have the time to share. Now was for escaping. So that he did not have to empty his Red in shields and murder. Woman chasing his thread like a lure through the waves they reached the shore in one piece. *Of course. I’m here.* All things were safe. Besides, if the whales had followed there was no way they could breach the small cave entrance. Which was quite nearly too small for the woman. Emile did not question why she hesitated to change forms before going through. Not all could keep from screaming, or breathing, as their bodies transformed.

Inside, however, it became increasingly less convenient to waddle about on flippers. Yet she persisted to the point of near ridiculousness. Emile decided that if she had a rookery, they had not done their job in caring for her, so the job was his now. But she hedged around his good news. Until he realized with a chuckle why. ”Yes. On the trader ship. Back to our home in the sea.” He told her, the sound of his voice warm in the dank space. He readied a thread to catch her if she tried to run away. The other raiders would not care if he brought a screaming woman on board so long as it didn’t offend the Tigers. Since they had chased her from the shore he could only assume they would not miss her any.

”Seals are for the sea. Men the land. And Moidyn Varrey reap the riches of both.” He answered, scratching her chin with blunt fingertips to stop her worrying. In the dim light it was hard to see his smile. Not wide enough to flash teeth that would shine. But warm. Full of a blossoming emotion that started at his center and spiraled outward. Not the first time he felt it, either. No. He always fell in love with them after saving them. There was something in the adrenaline of the moment that made his eyes flash with stars and his pulse fast. They didn’t always love him back- and that was alright too. He was excited to see what would happen with… ”What’s your name? I’m Emile.”

After a moment he scooted higher down the tunnel. Out of the water completely. Plenty close for his Opal to reach should it be required. ”I needed my human mouth and hands if the men came, and my seal is too big for this hole. We’re the same, though, I promise. You will come to live with me. It’s safe in my rookery. With my brother and our women. No will hurt you there and the water in our cove is prosperous.” A new woman. Was she beautiful? He hoped she was beautiful. It was hard to tell without the eyes of a seal to judge the body of one. She was certainly cute with her big brown eyes shining up at him that way. Like a happy pup. Whiskers twitching and ears swiveling to catch every word. ”Put your legs on. Do you have clothes? There are dry things in my cabinet if you need them.” Men’s shirts and pants but unless she was a very large woman he was sure they could make do.

”The men I’m traveling with, they are just common men. You must not tell them what we are.” Who could say what Mother Priestess would do with that information? What any ambitious leader would do with the power to command their race’s assets. ”They won’t bother you any as long as you stay out of the way.”

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 10:56:13 PM »

He was the type of confident her mother would have called cocky. Nora knew because she had heard such boasts before, and her mother had named it such. Today it was a comfort. Cocky or not, she was happy to have someone to turn her troubles over to. Someone stronger and wiser than herself.

His confidence was so unshakeable, she nearly didn’t argue when he announced her going home with him. Claimed like a bright pebble at the bottom of the sea. It seemed more a daydream than reality. Nora could nor survive in daydreams though. She lived in reality, where blindly agreeing to home was worse than blindly following a man into a sea cave.

He just laughed at her, making Nora nervous. She did not want to get on a trader ship. No way of knowing what might happen was she was. His smile was a shadow in a shadow, but his words made the world lurch and settle at once. *Yes.* So they were of a kind. Or he was kin enough to know her for what she was. Twitching under his scratching fingers, Nora tried to see the seal in him to no effect. *How did you know?* She could have been any seal, cousin or kin, running from those that hunted their kind.

*I’m Nora.* Emile. That was a nice name. Nora followed him, tail and flippers forcing her body across the root strewn floor of the cave. *You own rookery? I didn’t know there were more.* Her family had never had much luck with outsides and so did business with nearly no one. Making only tentative allies with landers. *I have clothes.* Taught to carry several sets as soon as she could vanish a shirt. Nora refreshed them once a week if she hadn’t run through them already.

*Don’t watch.* She begged, pulling the craft around her body. She breathed it in. Inhaling sea water and kelp. Ocean smells. Discarding her seal skin for her human again. Shift quick, but not painless. Nora was too used to the pain for it to distract or slow her. ”I know not to tell.” Breathless and weak kneed, Nora stumbled as she stood, a dress caught around her head before she worked it down over her damp hair. It fell just past her knees and was an often washed and much faded green.

Shyer without her seal skin, Nora rang out her hair and hugged herself close. ”And you’ll stay with me?” She asked, reaching for his arm as he began to ascend from the cave.

Emile Dupuis

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    King of Pearls
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    29 Posts    1242 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 01:07:28 AM »
Tentative trust rolled across their thread along with the singular word of agreement. Emile’s pleasure ebbed and flowed to the beat of his own heart. Eagerness and caution. Like the sea level caught between high tide and a storm current. ”I saw you on the shore. Mostly a woman. Then in the water. All seal.” He wished could claim to have just known. Wished even that there was an easy way to spot their kin among the mass of faces he passed day by day. Any mark that was clear to them, however, could be clear to the humans as well.

And that might be dangerous.

”Nora, how sweet.” He praised as if she had been the one to choose. Which, he supposed, would not be very crazy all things considered. It wasn’t like he could check her identity with anyone else. Believing her or digging behind her barrier to find out the truth were the only options. There was something decidedly honest in the scent of her psyche that gave him confidence in his choice. She was Nora. And if she was not Nora, she wanted to be. He wanted her to be happy. So Nora was her name no matter what way the world turned. Her next question was very surprising. ”There are hundreds. Thousands perhaps. All over both realms. Mine is very small. Just the four of us- now five.”

Would Aramis be pleased? He was usually indifferent to Emile’s activities as long as they didn’t interrupt his own. At the very least he would not be displeased. Which was acceptable, since Emile would like her as best as he could. ”Good. It’ll be much easier to explain a girl in girls clothes. Though I’m not sure they would have particularly noticed if I brought a seal onboard.” They called him weird and strange when they thought he wasn’t listening. Emile would have minded more if he had known what it was they thought strange. He didn’t, so he couldn’t be properly offended.

”Alright.” Large fingered hands, good for prying clams open, covered his face. Nails short and clean from the sea. Fingertips still wrinkled to help his human hands grip underwater. They pressed lightly into his eyes, head tipped away and ears straining. She changed, faster than he had expected. The shift in her breathing making him peek. Naked woman pulling herself up from the root carpet on the cave floor. Her legs buckled. Emile caught her under the arm before he could school himself not to react. Careful to keep his eyes on her face. All the bottom of his vision swimming with just out of focus flesh. Warm, pretty skin that was lightly freckled like her face. Points so close they almost brushed his own bare chest before he let go. Hovering for a moment he asked, ”Found your footing?” Before turning around to give her a sense of privacy while she changed.

It was not a long wait. Her voice calling him to look over his shoulder. Bright blue eyes that contrasted with the dark ones her seal used. Funny. He had never wondered if his own eyes changed color with the shift. ”I’m never far. Don’t worry.” They would stick together on the ship. A week to reach home. Then she would get to meet all the rest of the family. ”You don’t have to be afraid of the raiders. They won’t touch you without my permission. And I won’t give permission.” Not even if she willed him to. Emile shared with Aramis. They were brothers. It was fine. He called the raiders brother, and friend, but they were not really. They were just humans he would know for a few years before they died of old age or stupidity.

”Let’s have a look at you in the light.” On land where looking was not a challenge. Hand grasping hers gently he went first. Offering an arm around her waist when the roots became a slippery slope at the very end. She was warm and solid under his arm. A supple body that would be a pleasure to relax against while he daydreamed about pearls and shark fights. In the sunshine he shifted from one foot to the other. Looking her over from top to bottom. Fingers brushing her hairline to move the damp strands out of her face, then behind her shoulders. Crouching to inspect her legs, then tapping a calf to coax her into turning around so he could look up the other side as he stood. ”No hurts.” He told her, voice a deep shade of relief.

In the distance the voices of his shipmates chattering and waves breaking on shore could be heard. He did not turn towards them yet, though. ”When was the last time you ate, or slept?” Out here seemingly alone, no fighting at his insistence she come home with him… She needed proper caring for. He wanted to see to that in privacy, away from the leers of men who would not understand how he was so quickly in love.

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 07:26:48 AM »

*Oh.* Worry nibbled at her, whiskers drooping, Nora waddled into a shallow dip of roots. They were uncomfortable for her seal body to weigh against. It made her glad to know she could change and and step between them like her did. *I did not see you.* Or sense him all until he called for her. Tail slapping, Nora huffed.

Danger, danger, danger. She would have to pay more attention out here in the wider world.

Blushing inwardly at his praise, Nora tried to imagine thousands of rookeries. How small she’d thought the world. And how big it must really be! Part of her wanted to rush home and tell them about what she had learned. Much of her, really. But Nora didn’t know how to get home. Only that it was north, snd all her north going had not lead her there yet. *Even a living seal? Are you their leader too, then?* Her own rookery had been lead by a priest. Maybe Emile was a priest too, for all his thread felt different than the cool, calm touch of her old leader.

She was too nervous to set a probe on him and find out. And sometimes her probes were not very good. Annoying the recipient and not telling her half of what she wanted to know.

Nora half thought about these things as she drew craft through her body. Reshaping organs and bones. Exchanging hide for skin. Emile covered his face with his hands and waited, just like she’d asked. Nora was used to nudity among her rookery, it was a part of the natural order of things. But as much as Emile claimed she was part of his rookery now, he was still a stranger. And a man. One who caught her when she stumbled.

Squeaking, Nora gripped his shoulders. Bodies nearly touching, but he held her upright beneath the arms, and her feet found their purchase quickly. Knees remembering their purpose. Emile stared at her. Nora stared back, eyes round and blinking. ”Yes, thank you.” Arms cupping his hands so she could draw her elbows across her breasts. The rough skin of them brushing against his chest. Letting her go, Emile turned, giving Nora privacy again to pull on her dress.

It didn’t help her feel any less shy. Toes dipping into the sand blown down between the roots. Reaching for him, any part of him, to cling to. Emile let her have his arm, soft half promises spoken in the twilight of the cave. Nora nodded. He would keep her safe from the other men, and she believed because he believed.  ”Thank you.” His arm there to steady her as she remembered how to walk. Up the slippery slope into the day. Nora squinted and turned her face away from the sun. Not letting go of the hand she’d found in her own.

She had to, out in the open. Hands taut between them as he looked her over. Nora’s shoulders rose up around her neck, knees and thighs pressing tight together. He looked at her so intently! An examination rather than a glance. Moving her hair away from her face. Fingers pulled apart as he crouched at her feet. Nora shivered and peeked down that the top of his head, looking over the arms she’d crossed over her breasts. Turning at his tapping, Nora clenched her whole body tight, head bowing as he spoke near her ear, having stood without her realizing.

”I said so.” And she’d been right! Slowly she turned back around to face him, eyes darting toward the sound of voices competing with the waves. ”I ate on the swim.” Chewing her lip, Nora’s shoulders bobbed. ”I haven’t slept much.” She admitted. She hadn’t changed shape in days at least. Eating as a seal. Catching naps as a seal while she bobbed at the top of the sea. Looking eastward Nora shivered.

”I got dragged out of our channel by a freak tide. I keep swimming north but haven’t found it yet. This is the first time I’ve seen land at all.” And it hadn’t gone well when she’d tried for land. And still not well when she’d dove back in the sea. Exhausted and heart sore now that she’d had to say it out loud, Nora inched a little closer to Emile, wondering if he’d let her lean on him a while.

Emile Dupuis

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    King of Pearls
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    29 Posts    1242 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 11:46:00 AM »
Eyebrows rising in tandem Emile shook his head lightly, ”Sure, seals are cute. But no our leader is Captain Nazaire on this trip. He’s drawing up a new trade agreement with the Tiger Queen. They call her something funny. The Sleeper or The Wanderer maybe? I wasn’t listening. I have worked hard to earn their respect, so they don’t question what I say will be.” At least not outwardly. There may have been more fear of his taking offense than actual respect involved too. That didn’t matter enough to share with Nora, though. He didn’t want her to be afraid.


While she shifted he chatted on. A focal point often helped. And he didn’t know yet that she could switch skins as easily as some people switched socks. Even his own shift took a little longer than hers. ”I just needed extra marks. Pella says we need new dishes. Ours are all chipped and cracked. They’re old, and they were cheap when Aramis bought them. She likes pretty things, and she’ll be very rude if I set a limit on what she can spend.” So he had to have more than enough or risk her scoffing. The very thought made his stomach tighten unpleasantly. Their first wife was always so quick to set her victorious scowl on Emile when he could not perform or provide to her purposefully high standards. That was what wives did, though, he thought. At least the old men he spoke to of such things laughed and said so.

Out in the sunshine she was pliant under his quick examination. Hands kept mostly to himself aside from a few soft touches. No place private exposed or handled. He had to know she was alright. At least flesh deep. Broken bones were beyond his scope of detection, but he thought there would at least be bruises to make him take note of such hurts. There were none, and she reminded him that she had said so. ”Adrenaline is a funny thing,” He told her gently. ”when you’re running for you life it’s easy to be hurt without noticing the pain for a while.”

He could tell her stories. Some of them truly terrible. Men trying to attack with limbs that had been hacked off or opened bellies spilling their intestines underfoot. His new woman, thankfully, suffered no such horrors. And he would not put them into her head. Not now that she was safe in his care. ”Always best to double check when emotions have been high.” Plus he liked the opportunity to learn this shape and scent. To look over another treasure added to his life and know it was right.

”Are you hungry?” He asked more bluntly, since she said only that she had not gone without food. It was his own fault for wording the questions so. His Nora needed a more literal approach, he was beginning to think. That was alright. He could be plain. There had not been much sleep, apparently. Emile spread his palm on her lower back. ”You must be exhausted then, after that chase.”

She turned her face towards some unseen place. Trembling slightly as she fell into more of her story. Pulling her closer Emile nodded. Sympathy written appropriately across his eyebrows and in the down curve of his mouth. ”My poor girl. It’s going to be fine now, you’re safe, and there’s a new home waiting.” He did not know where she had come from, and since she named no place it did not seem she had either. Seclusion- always seemed like the easiest way to avoid trouble but when your people were lost, how could they find you again if they didn’t know the way or where?

When Nora scooted shyly towards him with a soft pout Emile pulled her closer still. Tucking her into his side. Hand moving from back to hip. ”I’ve got you. Let’s put something in your belly and tuck you into bed a while.” He would keep her company while she slept. Hammock plenty big for two. Calling in a light coat from his cabinet he arranged it around her shoulders then tucked her to his side again. It would help her dry off, and cover her from wandering eyes as they walked up the gangplank. Very few people paid them any attention. The Captain and his sharp eyes did, a short comment on the success of Emile’s pearl diving winning a chorus of chuckles from those nearby before he shuffled Nora down into the mess deck on the ship. There was only stew to eat- it was all they ever cooked. The vegetables were hearty and the meat was always well seasoned.

Scooping a bowl full he put it in her hands. ”Not as warm as it was this morning but still good.”

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2019, 03:32:25 PM »

The world was big and strange. Tigers that were men without changing shape. Traders that were also Moidyn Varrey. Rookeries beyond her rookery. No that wasn’t right. Nora was part of Emile’s rookery now. She experienced a pang of loss and longing for what she’d known.  Her mother and father. Siblings and family. Her few friends. Pella. Pella. *Who is Pella?* Pella of the dishes. Captain Nazaire the trader leader. An expanding world and a rearranging body.

Out in the sunshine he looked her over. Looked and looked until Nora thought her skin might open up under his gaze and divulge secrets she didn’t know she was keeping. He touched her too. Not a lot, and not anywhere that might have made her shy away. But he touched her. Touched to direct. Touched to.. touch, Nora thought, squeezing herself tight. ”I still don’t feel anything.” She assured him, actually taking stock of her body. And his, since it was so close to her own.

Chewing her lip, Nora looked at her toes, one set wiggling over the other. ”What about you?” He’d been surrounded by the pod too, shields or no. And she didn’t know where he had been before that, except for spying on her. Peeking at him, Nora bent under the hand on her back. ”Tired.” She agreed. ”I’m not sure about hungry.” Too nervous and shook up to hear her stomach. Telling him the story of her way out into the sea.

Emile listened, pulling her close in sympathy. Nora was glad to lean in and have his comfort. Her fingers crept up the arm circling her, plucking over the creases of his elbow. ”I know. It’s just...” She shrugged. She was safe. But she still missed what she’d lost. Tucked against his side, Nora turned her face into his shoulder to try and hide from the reality of just what had happened. This wasn’t home. She was probably farther than ever from where she was meant to be. But Emile was warm and comforting.

”That sounds good.” She breathed, inhaling the damp smell of him. It did. Stomach complaining now that food had been offered. Muscles weakening and trembling as the adrenaline left her. Weak kneed and drooping, Nora pulled the coat tight around her and snuggled under Emile’s arm. Hiding against him as they walked up the ship’s gangplank. Men whispering and snickering as they went. Eyes making her shiver. Emile did not let them harass her, just like he promised. He took her into the ship and gave her a bowl of soup he filled himself.

No other women. No other people. Nora ate it, bent over the bowl and buried in his coat. He watched that too. Looking like he’d looked before. Nora imagined he had more than one set of eyes trained on her while she emptied the bowl, moping it clean with a piece of hard bread. ”It is good.” She agreed, licking her fingers clean. Thumbing crumbs from her lip, Nora blinked at him. The world a little blurry now that her stomach was full. ”I think I ran out of that adrenaline.” She told him sorrowfully. Pliant as he tucked her up into a a hammock.

Nora giggled at its swaying, only to fall silent when he joined her in it. Bodies rearranged until they fit together. Emile wrapped mostly around Nora. Chewing her lip, she let her head rest on his chest. ”Do we have to stay here long?” She asked him, worried about the tiger men. And the other boat men. Fretting at the coat draped over their bodies while sleep tried to drag her under.

Emile Dupuis

    Blood Opal to Red
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    King of Pearls
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    29 Posts    1242 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 09:49:43 PM »
Ah Pella, what to say about Pella? ”She’s the woman in the rookery that has been with my brother Aramis and I the longest. I saved her out in the water too.” Cunning. Vicious. So, so angry at Emile. He didn’t want to weight his heart down with heavy concerns while he welcomed this fresh new wonder into his life. So he put the many ways he could have answered away. The many warnings that he hoped would be unnecessary too. Pella liked pretty things, she would like Nora too he thought. Hoped. It was so hard to know with that one. The things he did to please her usually made her angrier, and the things he knew would disappoint her were met with that judgmental grin.

Nora did not seem any of those things, thankfully. Grateful to be rescued if seven shades of shy. Arms crossing over her breasts a half dozen times as though she expected him to cup one. Maybe other warlord princes would have. That was an impression Emile received from observing others. He was never quite what they expected. Face smoothing to a gentle grin he held his arms out. Giving Nora silent permission to look at him as intently as he had looked at her. ”Nothing serious. A few scratches from the coral.” Mostly on his bare feet and hands. None deep enough to even bleed.

”That’s alright. There’s plenty to eat when you do get an appetite.” He soothed. The witch was eager for his comfort. It was so shocking, Emile was nearly taken back. He was unused to such a pleasant reaction. It was the exactly the sort he always hoped for, however. In his arms she relaxed a little. Leaning her weight into his strength. Pouring a bit of her heart out, emotion spilling into the air like unshed tears. He gave her a gentle hug as she shrugged into his assurances. Too soon for kissing he, probably, though the way she turned into his embrace tempted him further. Instead he cupped her head in a stronger hug. He didn’t want to confuse his intentions, he just wanted to relate. ”I understand. It’s hard to look forward to the new with the old still in your heart.”

Emile had not lost anyone in a very long time. He had suffered losses though, and it marked his young psyche as surely as his caste and Jewels had. ”This is for the best. You’ll be safer with me, so I wouldn’t send you back even if I knew where to send you.” Tides and currents were not so tricky. Freakish or not. You followed them, you found what was washed out to sea. The grudge that built in his heart against her family was subtle, and private. He would not make her fret with a show of temper with no person to point it at. So he took to the ship instead. The walk quiet and short while he hovered with hands on her hip and arm. Ready to catch her as her legs threatened to be weak again.

Inside he served her a wholesome helping of the stew. Picking at nearly stale bread while she ate. His own stomach was already sated. As sated as a fully fueled Red could be. And as he waited he grew more anxious for what came next. The closeness. He used a thread of Craft to shift her bowl away, into a sink for cleaning later with the rest of the dishes that had been piled in. ”You don’t need it now, sweet girl.” Hands gentle he tucked her back to his side, leading the way through a narrow set of doors into a small room. There were dozens, one for each man on this cruise. None as fine as Captain Nazaire’s suit of course. But it was his ship so he deserved it. Some expeditions were just a few dozens bodies piled on the floor, mingling with the slaves brought back from the mainland. This was much nicer.

Much more private. Lifting her into the low hung hammock Emile gave it a rock while she tried to use the coat as a blanket. ”Cold?” He asked as he climbed up beside her. Girlish giggles cut off dry. The energy in the room turned nervous. Emile was nervous too. Worried she would ask him to move. To leave. Not to lay in a way that pressed their bodies so intimately together. She did not say anything while they turned until they were comfortable. Emile half draped around Nora as she settled against his front. Resting the heel of his hand low on her back he stroked her with his thumb. ”Relax. You’re still safe.”

”Oh, a day at least. Captain Nazaire dines with the Tiger queen tonight. He has wives and Mother Priestess to get home to, he never stay longer than he has to.” Chin on the crown of her head he rubbed her back until she was still. Timing her breaths until they slowed. Near dozing but not asleep. ”This is nice.” She was warm. Soft. He liked the way his hand fit when he cupped her asscheek. Careful not to let a single finger twitch from the rest so that she wouldn’t feel groped while she enjoyed well earned rest.

Nora Dupuis

    Tiger Eye Birthright
  • witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    25 Posts    1050 marks
Re: Riptidings
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2019, 04:13:27 AM »

Nora nodded, glad that Emile understood what she didn’t know how to say. Her heart was still at home with her family, while her body found comfort in Emile’s embrace. His arms wrapping around her gently, pressing her close without crushing her. She fit under his chin just right. A pleasant sensation she had not experience before. No one from her rookery was so tall.

No one from her old rookery. Nora belonged with Emile now, as he reminded her, hand cupping the back of her skull, hug growing more fierce. Emboldened by it, and unsure of what to say other than offering a meek - Yes, Emile.” - Nora returned his hug. Hands and arms slinking around his ribs, face pressed to the crease between his arm and his chest.

Content to be lead, Nora was made nervous only by the other men. Too tired to really pay attention to them. Of to be curious about the inside of the ship, despite never having been inside one. Just the small boats used by her rookery, able to be rowed by a single person. Or sometimes propelled by craft. Later she would have a proper look around. Exploring the ship while the men were too busy with work to mind her. For now she curled close to Emile and ate what was offered her. Appetite found easily enough with faced with food.

True exhaustion quick on its heels. ”But I liked it better.” Nora whined, trying to force her drooping eyelids to stay open. Using Emile to get to her feet, and to stay on them, Nora followed him farther into the ship, all the way into a small room where he lifted her up into a hammock. Ropes smelling strongly of his body, she giggled and gripped them as he made it swing. Giggles falling away and grip tightening as he climbed in after her.

”Still a little wet.” She explained. Hair dark with retained water, it dampened the back of her dress. Quiet while they figured out how to fit two into the hammock. There was no way to do it without touching, the curve of the ropes bending around them and rolling their bodies together, so Nora quit trying to give him space. Accepted that wrapped up in Emile and ropes was where she was meant to be. His thumb working comforting circles into the small of her back.

”I thought you said they weren’t Moidyn Varrey?” Nora hid a yawn beneath the arm she’d drape over Emile, hand tucked under his shoulder. Fingers curling against his skin. Eyes closed, she meant to ask him what a wife was as well, but the words never made it past her lips. Body too tired for so much talking. Nora sank into it, the temptation of sleep and Emile’s body. Relaxing until she was slipping over the brink of sleep, Emile’s hand sliding lower, so he could tuck her closer to his body where she wouldn’t be cold. ”Yes.” She agreed sleepily, lips brushing his skin.

It was so nice she fell asleep between one breath and the next without noticing.

 

Welcome to Witchlight

We are an AU Black Jewels RPG that is continuously expanding the world lore to truly make it our own. Come join us and play in our sandbox!

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Mountain Shadows by Syral Moon-son
[September 12, 2019, 10:55:20 AM]


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Witchlight is loosely based upon the Black Jewels Series by Anne Bishop though it has been adapted and expanded by our members. All lore, characters, and writing belongs to the members. Site graphics & custom codes were created by the staff. A special thanks to Wolf & Katarina for all their help with the planning of Witchlight and the writing of the base lore.

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